Forsyth Central at Dawson County
When, where: Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium in Dawsonville.
Records, rankings: Central finished 4-6 in 2015 and is unranked in Class 7A; Dawson finished 9-4 in 2015 and is unranked in Class 3A.
Series history: Central leads 10-5
Last meeting: Central won 27-7 in 2015.
What to know: The Frank Hepler era at Central kicks off against an old time rival for the Bulldogs, as well as a familiar coaching name.
Hepler returns to the county after he built a 51-18 record at West Forsyth between its start in 2007 and his departure in 2013. Hepler, after a brief stint in Florida, returned to Georgia to start up Discovery’s program in Gwinnett County before jumping at the bit to return to Forsyth.
Dawson is in its second season under former Lambert head coach Sid Maxwell, who started the Longhorns program from scratch. Dawson is a formidable opponent from a lower classification. The Tigers, who have fallen to Central by 20 points two years in a row, hope to justify their standing as a team on the cusp of the Class 3A top-10 rankings by spoiling Hepler’s debut.
This will be the 11th meeting between Central and Dawson County since 2002 after 30 years of ceasefire, and so far the modern rivalry between these two north Georgia neighbors is split down the line, 50-50. Central will unveil an adjusted version of its run-heavy offense, which includes more emphasis on the spread, against Dawson’s top player in senior linebacker Luke Martin.